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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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What Will You Do This Halloween?




by Steve Case



Do a word search in the Bible, and you won’t find the word “Halloween.” This makes some people naturally conclude that the Bible has nothing to offer in a conversation about how Christians can and should respond to this cultural experience.

The Bible doesn’t say anything specifically about St. Patrick’s Day or Valentine’s Day or Labor Day or Presidents’ Day. But we’re happy to celebrate those holidays. We’ll pinch those who don’t wear green, pay to have “kisses” stamped on the faces of friends, or take an extra day for a longer weekend, whether we have “labored” or not and even if we don’t know which president’s birthday we’re celebrating.

But Halloween offers a special kind of challenge for Christians. The pagan roots that are related to it shout a warning to some. But the current practices of acknowledging ghosts, interacting with the dead, condoning witches, and the dark side of supernatural phenomena create red flags of warning to followers of God.

Seventh-day Adventists view life on earth currently as a conflict between supernatural forces of good and evil—of Christ and Satan. We’re only small players in this cosmic drama, but we’re in it just the same. Some are oblivious to it, some deny it, while it seems so obvious to others.

Our role isn’t to take on the superpowers, but to declare our allegiance to one and then live consistently with that. By choosing Christ, we are released from the ways of Satan. This includes selfishness, insecurity, put-downs,
manipulation, gossip, pride, fearfulness, revenge, deception, using people, lying, coercion, and hypocrisy. For some people, God gives instant freedom from these ways of evil; for others, it takes time and even a struggle—especially if they have longtime habits, or these have been part of their identity.

What does this have to do with Halloween? The practices of Halloween—past and present—highlight and incorporate the evil side of the supernatural battle between Christ and Satan. Think about it: what parts of Halloween do you associate with Christ?

Some see Halloween celebrations as harmless fun, but why even dabble in it? Why “play” in the devil’s den?

Let me take a short “time-out” to acknowledge that not everything associated with Halloween is demonic. Simply going trick-or-treating, dressing in harmless costumes, bobbing for apples, going on a hayride, and gathering with friends doesn’t constitute or result in devil worship. Many have done these kinds of things for years without incident. Eating loads of candy corn might make you physically sick, but it doesn’t spark demon possession.

Perhaps we should consider two different ways to relate to Halloween as Christians:

1. Get into it! This approach seeks to make the most of what Halloween is all about. Instead of just playing games, try to contact the dead. Get scared. Open yourself to the demonic forces.

There’s no way I would ever recommend this approach, but I mention it because some will do it. And some will follow along just because they’re with friends and think no harm will be done or have the courage or know the way to say no. If you end up in a situation like this, I strongly urge you to walk (or run) away immediately. This is nothing short of insanity.

2. Be countercultural. Instead of conforming to the ways of this world, God calls us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (see Romans 12:2). This often seems to be the opposite of what the rest of one’s culture is doing.
When it comes to Halloween, all kinds of possibilities exist, such as:

• Go door to door and give treats instead of asking for them.
• Throw a party that celebrates the life God has given us now.
• Reenact the Mount of Transfiguration; interview Moses and Elijah.
• Share testimonies of heroes of faith and how their witness lives on.
• Go door to door and ask for canned goods to make food baskets for those who are poor.
• Come up with your own ideas.

As a follower of Jesus, I want to follow Him and not simply follow the world—or the deceiver of the world. I’m claiming turf on this planet for the kingdom of God, especially on Halloween!

What will you do this Halloween?

Steve Case is a youth pastor, an author, the president of Involve Youth (www.involveyouth.org), and resident columnist of Insight’s On the Case.





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